Long wait for Quo was well worthwhile for loyal fans

THERE was something lacking when Status Quo made their long-awaited – and three-times postponed – return to the Regent last night.

Thankfully it was only the most famous pony tail since Jackie Pallo gave up the grapple game as a smart-haired Francis Rossi showed us his “ageing teacher” look.

But the sound hasn’t changed – I suspect their would be a riot if it did – and the sell-out crowd got exactly what they wanted as the Quid Pro Quo tour rolled into town.

This was Quo’s first visit to Ipswich for a couple of years after last winter’s shows were cancelled three times because of illness.

That only increased the crowd’s anticipation – and unfounded rumours earlier this week that the show could be postponed only fanned the anticipation.

In the event they took to the stage bang on queue and seemed as pumped up and ready to rock as ever.

Their traditional show opener Caroline put the crowd in the mood for a great night of classic rock – but this year the band had a few surprises up their sleeve.

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During the first half of the near two-hour set the band revived several album tracks from the 70s and 80s that will have been unfamiliar to all but the diehard fans.

I’ve seen them several times, but there were tracks new to me. One of the finest was the Rick Parfitt song “For You” which showed a very different Quo to that most of us know and love.

During the second half of the set we were treated to more of the old standards that were familiar to all.

They still have drive and energy – and bassist Rhino Edwards still treats each set as if it is a qualification for the world gurning championships!

But as the band grows older their voices aren’t as flexible or as durable as they once were.

They share the vocal leads, but Francis has always taken the lion’s share – and towards the end of the set I did feel he was starting to wobble.

By the time we got to the last number of the main set, the anthem Rockin’ All Over the World, he really did seem to be struggling and needing help from the audience and the rest of the band.

But that is a very small niggle at the end of a great night of music – and after all the problems of last winter it was a real treat to see the boys back in town.

This was actually the first time I had seen the Quo at the Regent since 2006 although Ipswich has always remained a key date on all their tours – and coming back to see them after such an absence certainly helped me to appreciate just what a professional and committed act they still are.

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